Tag Archives: michelle grattan
michelle grattan

Grattan on Friday / Abbott will look tricky if he tries to abort the same-sex marriage bill he encouraged

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE prime minister is suddenly looking like a throwback to Tony Abbott, health minister, when he was fighting trenchantly against losing ministerial power over the abortion drug RU486. Driven by the wish to keep the support of Liberal conservatives, on whom his leadership depends, and by his personal moral views, […]

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Grattan / Abbott caught in no-win situation on same-sex marriage

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott’s office took quite a while to respond to Sky News’ Wednesday report that a group of backbenchers from across the parliament planned to bring forward a same-sex marriage bill on August 11, with the party room considering a week later whether Liberals should get a conscience vote. When […]

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Grattan / Turnbacks remain an irritant in Australia-Indonesia relations: former foreign minister Natalegawa

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra FORMER Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has called out the Abbott government over its attempt to shrug off any cost to the bilateral relationship caused by the unilateral manner of its boat turnbacks. But equally, Natalegawa has complicated Labor’s looming policy decision on whether to embrace turnbacks to limit its […]

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Grattan / Broad coalition formed to seek common ground on tackling climate change

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Major business, union, research, environment, investor and social groups have formed the Australian Climate Roundtable in an effort to “put the climate policy debate on common ground and offer a way forward”. The group’s formation comes just weeks before the Abbott government announces Australia’s emission reduction target for post-2020, in […]

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Grattan on Friday / Winter risks are greater for Shorten than Abbott

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE parliamentary budget session has ended with Tony Abbott having reason to feel a good deal more confident than Bill Shorten. After the budget itself going down relatively well for the government, some $14 billion of savings have been passed in the last fortnight. Abbott has planted national security centre […]

michelle grattan

Grattan / Mallah caught the ABC bus to Q&A

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra ZAKY Mallah, the former terrorism suspect at the centre of the Q&A storm, travelled to the studio in a free bus the program puts on to take audience members from Sydney’s western suburbs, an ABC spokesman has said. The explanation came after Mallah told 2GB he was taken in a […]

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Grattan / QandA controversy plays into hands of ABC’s government critics

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE ABC’s decision to allow a well-known, one-time terrorism suspect to ask a question on Q&A was a mistake that potentially weakens the broadcaster’s position against its many enemies in high places. Permitting Zaky Mallah to appear, whether through lack of thought or in pursuit of controversy, was bad in […]

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Grattan / Abbott government runs very quickly from idea of user pays for public schools

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra FIRST it was the tax paper falling victim to the exigencies of politics; now it’s the federalism one. Neither is finished but already the government has, under sharp political pressure, ruled certain options out. No, there won’t be changes to the GST, never mind that all the experts think they […]

michelle grattan

Government’s citizenship changes target members of listed terrorist organisations

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra WHEN Bill Shorten was asked by the royal commission into union corruption to appear before it, he said he wouldn’t be commenting on allegations about his time as an Australian Workers Union official until he gave evidence. The no-comment position quickly became untenable. On Sunday, Shorten was on the ABC’s […]

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Grattan on Friday / Bill Shorten’s purgatory puts Labor into limbo

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra BILL Shorten’s July 8 appearance before the royal commission into union corruption is crucial for his credibility and has major implications for his leadership. Shorten needs to lay absolutely to rest any suggestion that in his previous life as Australian Workers Union (AWU) chief he put the union’s interests ahead […]

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Grattan / Politicians put forward their worst sides

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra In the latest Essential poll, just 11% have some or a lot of trust in politicians and 49% have no trust. Not a surprising result perhaps. What is surprising is that politicians don’t seem much worried how badly they are regarded collectively. Despite the evidence that ordinary people are often […]

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Grattan / Australians very fearful of Islamic State and terrorism, Lowy poll finds

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE Abbott government’s anti-terrorism pitch is tapping into and feeding a deep vein of national security fear in the Australian population, the Lowy Institute’s 2015 poll shows. As the Coalition prepares to introduce to parliament a tough law to strip citizenship from dual nationals involved in terrorism, the poll shows […]

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Grattan / Big tick for same-sex marriage as Labor gains: Ipsos poll

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra MORE than two-thirds of voters support legalising same-sex marriage in a Fairfax/Ipsos poll that shows Labor again ahead of the Coalition on a two-party basis. The poll also found 57% believed that in the area where they lived it was not affordable for a first-time buyer to purchase a home; […]

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Grattan on Friday / Tough terrain ahead for Bill Shorten

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government has always seen Bill Shorten’s union past as a prime target, and now it is starting to take serious aim. A main motive in Tony Abbott’s setting up the royal commission into trade union corruption was political – to find ammunition to deploy against Labor and its leader. […]

michelle grattan

Hockey’s proneness to mistakes matters well beyond issues around the housing bubble

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra IN trying to help a colleague out of a hole, there’s always the danger of slipping into one yourself. Shoring up Joe Hockey after the treasurer’s advice to young homebuyers to get a good job, Tony Abbott recounted his own mortgage experience. “I’m someone who has over the years felt […]

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Grattan on Friday / Abbott’s reality show has trouble with the script

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE Abbott government desperately tries, but nearly always fails, to run to a tight script. The current script has two big headings: “economic security” and “national security”. Its lines are about the budget’s giveaways for small business, and the Coalition’s constant vigilance in finding ways to keep the community safe. […]

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Grattan / Gay marriage heading to cross-party bill

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra SOME pro-gay marriage Liberals might be railing against Bill Shorten’s pre-emptive private member’s bill but its effect has been to suddenly raise the prospect of common political ownership of the issue. Liberals remain divided on marriage equality but united on not wanting Shorten, who has given notice he’ll introduce the […]

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Grattan / Abbott prefers to stay on the high moral ground in a war mired in murkiness

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott was asked on Monday whether, if the United States increased its troop numbers in the fight against Islamic State (IS), Australia would consider boosting its commitment. Abbott replied that, as always, Australia stood ready to work with its partners and allies – the US, Iraq and other countries […]

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Grattan / Former diplomat to co-ordinate counter terrorism

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra A former ambassador to Indonesia and Iran, Greg Moriarty, will become co-ordinator of national counter terrorism, leading a new office in the Prime Minister’s department. The government says that as well as his expertise in the Middle East and South East Asian regions, Moriarty brings to the role experience co-ordinating […]